Taking account of border towns in the national programme “Small Towns of Tomorrow”

March 2021

Taking account of border towns in the national programme “Small Towns of Tomorrow”

In October 2020, the MOT was tasked by the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion and the Banque des Territoires as an “action partner” in the national programme “Small Towns of Tomorrow”.

Targeting around 1,500 municipalities, the programme notably includes a number of small urban centres located near to France’s borders and facing economic and demographic difficulties. The border exacerbates these difficulties in that it deprives inhabitants of 360° access to mobility, healthcare and employment; by contrast, opening up the border constitutes an asset.

In this context, the MOT’s work has highlighted several emblematic examples of cross-border cooperation initiatives that have made it possible to overcome certain difficulties. This work has given rise to the publication of a booklet entitled “Small Towns on Borders” and eight project factsheets covering various topics such as setting up a youth employment network in the Pyrenees, opening an information centre for cross-border inhabitants and the creation of a Franco-Belgian healthcare hub. These publications will be added to as the programme progresses.

The cross-border dimension is a cross-cutting lever of development for the territories concerned. Each town can therefore be involved in different projects, as a partner contributing to their implementation, or as a beneficiary of their impact with respect to the strengthening of its role as a hub. Each of the cross-border projects arises from a particular issue or territorial context, and leads to collaboration with partners on the other side of the border aimed at developing joint solutions. The MOT, with its strong expertise in this area, is ready to assist these small urban centres within the framework of the programme, and to support them in the development of cross-border projects contributing to their regeneration.

The publications - In French:

- Plaquette "Petites villes aux frontières"
- Fiche projet : Pôle de santé transfrontalier MOSAN à la frontière franco-belge
- Fiche projet : Covoiturage Arc-Jurassien
- Fiche projet : Destination Ardenne
- Fiche projet : Espace Mont-Blanc
- Fiche projet : Maison des frontaliers entre Joeuf et Briey
- Fiche projet : Plan intégré territorial PITer COeurAlp
- Fiche projet : Trampoline, pour l’emploi des jeunes dans les Pyrénées
- Fiche projet : Trame verte et bleue transfrontalière en milieu urbanisé TVBuONAIR

Photo: Tende, at the French-Italian border
Copyright: Rolf E. Staerk/

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